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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Maryland making jobs headway

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Maryland's job market is not the worst in the nation, as a recent article in The Washington Times claimed ("Maryland lost 10,000 jobs in 2012, tops in U.S., feds say," Web, July 23). Maryland still beckons the best and brightest with one of the most dynamic state economies in the country and top-flight opportunities to live, learn and build innovative, exciting companies.

The Washington Times disputed these facts using cherry-picked data points disseminated by Change Maryland, an organization that claims to be "nonpartisan" and "grass roots," but is, in fact, neither of those things. Change Maryland is organized and led by Larry Hogan, a Republican who considered running for governor in 2010 and served as a Cabinet secretary for four years under the state's last Republican chief executive.

The article stated Maryland has lost "a little over 10,000 jobs in 2012." This is not true. That figure reflects job losses posted February through June. January, however, was a good month for Maryland. It added 9,100 jobs in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The state has lost just 1,200 jobs this year, only 12 percent of what the newspaper reported.

There is no doubt the effects of the recession linger and the recovery has been far slower than everyone hoped and many predicted. There is no doubt that more Marylanders need jobs. But there is no doubt that the economy is improving. Maryland averaged 41,600 more jobs in the first six months of this year than in the same period last year, according to BLS. That equates to annual growth of 1.6 percent, 10th best in the country and the best in the region.

Private employers have accounted for 92 percent of the 28,200 jobs Maryland has added in the past year.

Gov. Martin O'Malley and the General Assembly created InvestMaryland in 2011 and Innovate Maryland this past spring. Together, the programs will invest nearly $90 million to commercialize technologies and jump-start promising young Maryland companies.

CHRISTIAN S. JOHANSSON

Secretary

Department of Business and Economic Development

Baltimore

SCOTT R. JENSEN

Interim Secretary

Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

Baltimore

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